Scots Roots

Preston Mill, East Lothian

Preston Mill 1Although there has been a mill on this site since the 16th century, the current Preston Mill was built in the 18th century. It ceased production in 1959 but the machinery is still in working order.

Preston Mill 2This is a meal mill and produced oatmeal. The oats were dried in the kiln – the oddly shaped conical building – before entering the milling process.

Preston Mill 3The mill is currently owned by the National Trust for Scotland and, if you take a guided tour, you can see the machinery in action.

Preston Mill 4Followers of Outlander may recognise it as the mill on Jamie’s family estate where he was nearly captured by the Redcoats as he swam beneath the mill wheel, trying to repair it.

Preston Mill 5


Annet House Museum, Linlithgow
December 11, 2017, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History, West Lothian | Tags: , ,

Annet House 1

Annet House 3The museum is based in a large Georgian town house on Linlithgow High Street with a huge garden to the rear. Annet House itself was built in 1787 for the Bartholomew family.

Linlithgow was the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, so it’s not surprising that she features strongly in the exhibits. There’s also a statue of her out in the garden.

Annet House 5Other exhibits tell the story of the town’s heritage featuring displays on linen, leatherworking, distilling and papermaking amongst others.

Annet House 2The garden at the back, known as the Rigg, would have been used to provide the family’s everyday requirements with areas for flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs for medicine. Today’s garden has been set out much as it would have been in its heyday.

Annet House 4The museum is scheduled to move to larger premises in the newly-refurbished County Buildings in Linlithgow which sadly means the garden will be left behind.

Annet House 6

Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh
November 20, 2017, 3:34 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: ,

Holyrood Abbey 1Holyrood Abbey 2Looking like an extension built on to Holyrood Palace, the Abbey actually predates the Palace by several centuries. Founded by David I in 1128, the Abbey was first home to Augustinian Canons.

Holyrood Abbey 3Holyrood Abbey 4Due to its proximity to Edinburgh Castle, the Abbey was often used by Scottish monarchs as a residence more suited to comfort and privacy. It wasn’t until the 16th century that James IV decided to turn the Abbey chambers into a suitable palace.

Holyrood Abbey 5Holyrood Abbey 6The Abbey was sacked several times by English invasions over the centuries and the Protestant Reformation left much of it in ruins. Part of it was retained to serve as the parish church of Canongate but that came to an end in 1687 when the Catholic James VII and II evicted the Protestant congregation. The Abbey was ransacked a year later when James VII and II was deposed.

It has been a ruin ever since.

Holyrood Abbey 7

Ben Tianavaig
November 6, 2017, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Photographs | Tags: ,

Ben Tianavaig 5Overlooking the harbour at Portree on the Isle of Skye, Ben Tianavaig isn’t one of the island’s higher slopes but it is a nice little climb with spectacular views from the top.

Ben Tianavaig 2With Portree and the Cuillin ridge to one side and the Isle of Raasay and the mountains of Torridon on the other, you can sit here for ages just soaking up the sights. We’ve had lunch here looking down on a family of minke whales feeding in the Sound of Raasay below.

Ben Tianavaig 3

Ben Tianavaig 4At 413 metres high, it is a fairly straightforward climb, best tackled from the car park at Tianavaig Bay. In common with much of the landscape of the Isle of Skye, landslip has caused the collapse of the east side of the hill and sea eagles use the resultant cliff ledges to nest on.

Ben Tianavaig 1

Luichart Dam
October 14, 2017, 11:19 am
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Luichart Dam 1Luichart Dam 2The catchment area of the River Conon and its tributaries is about 460 square miles stretching from Wester Ross to the Cromarty Firth.

The Conon Hydro-Electric Power Scheme was built by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and developed in 3 stages between 1946 and 1961.

Luichart Dam 3

Luichart Dam 4

Luichart Power Station

Luichart dam creates storage capacity in Loch Luichart and water leaves the dam via a tunnel through to Luichart power station, the largest station in the scheme, which is just downstream. The dam receives additional water from the nearby Meig dam via a tunnel.

The scenery on the way to Luichart dam and the views as you walk across it are breathtaking.

Luichart Dam 5

Shandwick Bus Stop
August 29, 2017, 3:17 pm
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Shandwick Bus Stop 1I came across this picturesque bus stop whilst walking in Easter Ross recently.

Shandwick Bus Stop 2Strangely, the nearest road to this bus stop is several miles away.

Shandwick Bus Stop 3

Attadale Gardens
August 14, 2017, 10:27 am
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Attadale Gardens 1Attadale Gardens 2Situated on the shores of Loch Carron in Wester Ross with views over the loch to the Isle of Skye, Attadale Gardens have been developed over many years. Attadale House itself was built in 1755 and some of the trees date from that period.

Attadale Gardens 3Attadale Gardens 4The gardens boast a rhododendron walk, water gardens, an old sunken garden, Japanese garden, kitchen gardens, a peace garden and a fernery.

An extensive sculpture collection can be stumbled upon lurking in the undergrowth throughout the gardens.

Attadale Gardens 5Attadale Gardens 6If you need some refreshment, a small help yourself café is based in one of the outbuildings by the house.

Part of the 30,000 acre Attadale Estate, these gardens are a great day out.

Attadale Gardens 7

Attadale Gardens 8

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